Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Do you believe in ghosts?
My friend April works at a college that is taking over the buildings of what used to be a mental hospital in our city. The land is expansive, the buildings grand and beautiful. Some of the buildings date back to the late 1800s when the hospital was known simply as The Asylum for the Insane. Then name changed a couple of times over the decades to reflect changing views on mental health. The facility was so large that it was largely self-sufficient. The people who lived and worked there even grew their own food.
Of course, there is a dark history and lots of ghost stories to go with the facility's past. As a nursing student I was able to read the files of some of the previous residents while on practium at a psychogeriatric facility.
The kids and I meet April regularly and go for walks on her lunch break. One day she discovered this lovely little park. At the time we didn't know it, but it is actually the hospital's cemetary. There isn't a single marked grave. The only hint as to what is in this park is a very small cenotaph. It is quiet and peaceful here and the view across the valley is stunning. Apparently only the very fortunate got buried here. There are former patients buried all over the grounds of the hospital.
This is the stuff ghost stories are made of.